Now making a weekly appearance in my lunchtime repetoire:
This is one of the best salads ever! The original recipe comes from the February 2009 issue of Food & Wine Magazine. I still have it bookmarked, the pages sticky from making the dressing dozens of times, although by now, I’ve committed it to memory, and made a few changes. Here is my version:
BITTER GREENS WITH FIGS AND FOG
1/2 small head radicchio, finely shredded
1 Belgian endive, thinly sliced crosswise
1 C. baby arugula
1 1/2 oz. cooked organic chicken, cut up
7-10 whole unsalted almonds
1 dried calmyrna fig, chopped
1 oz. Humboldt Fog goat cheese, cubed
DRESSING (this is a double recipe, you’ll want extra!)
3 tblsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tblsp. fig vinegar (or raspberry)
3 tblsp. sugar free apricot preserves
1 shallot, very thinly sliced
1 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
freshly ground pepper and salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the raw almonds on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes, and let cool, then coarsely chop. (I make a big batch to save time, also great served with cheeses).
Let the sliced shallots marinate in the vinegar for 10 minutes. Meanwhile add the oil, rosemary, and thyme to a small saucepan. Heat over moderate heat for 2 minutes until it sizzles. Stir in the apricot preserves and heat until melted, about 1 minute. Add the shallots and vinegar and cook an additional minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss the lettuces, warm chicken, figs, and almonds in a large bowl and drizzle the warm dressing, to taste. Top with chunks of the cheese. (Note: the original recipe calls for regular goat cheese, see photo in magazine below)
This recipe makes one huge salad or 2-4 servings as a side, in which case I add more almonds, figs, and cheese but omit the chicken. The sweetness of the preserves and figs are the perfect match to the bitterness of the greens.